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Object Title

Centrefire self-loading pistol - FN Baby Browning

Centrefire self-loading pistol - FN Baby Browning

Date

about 1931

Object Number

XII.11254

Provenance

Transferred to the Royal Armouries via the National Museums Consortium from the Home Office Firearms Compensation Scheme, 1997

Physical Description

The entire frame in addition to the slide has been blued. The decoration is compartmented into geometric fields by bold flush gold inlaid lines. The inlays have been shaved flush to the rest of the pistol and polished. The fact that this pistol’s lines are straight and of an even width, shows whoever did this was very accomplished. The inlaid compartments consist of engraved stylised flowers, a geometric pattern of arches or a concentration of stipples. The highlight of the decoration is a gold ‘sunburst’ on the top of the slide. Grips of mother of pearl, engraved with a bold geometric FN monogram in the foreground, whilst the geometric arches from the body of the pistol are repeated in the background. The familiar FN slide legend is inlaid in gold on the left side.

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Techniques

Engraved

Dimensions

BarrelLength3.9 in
BarrelLength102 mm
OverallLength2.25 in.
OverallLength53 mm
OverallWeight0.28 kg
OverallWeight0.44 lb

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 5

Calibre

6.35 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Inspection mark
* E (Auguste Jamart who worked at the FN from 1924-1959)
Barrel, right side frame, right side of slide.
Looks to have been engraved rather than stamped.
Serial number
5
Barrel, inside of slid, left side of frame
Stamped
Proof mark
Crown over cartouche containing ELC* (Overall final proof mark)
Barrel
Stamped
Slide legend
FABRIQUE NATIONAL D’ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE, and underneath BROWNING’S PATENT DEPOSE
Slide left side
Inlayed in gold
Proof mark
Rampant Lion over line PV
Barrel, right side frame, right side of slide.
Looks to have been engraved rather than stamped.

Associations

Notes

Possibly an example of FN’s ‘high gloss deep blue finish’ applied to their luxury firearms between 1922 and the early 1930s. Low serial numbers for FN pistols are rare, thanks to the frequency with which the earliest products failed in proof testing. If this is serial number 5 then this pistol was the fifth Baby Browning produced by FN, dating it to 1931. The Baby Browning was introduced in 1931. Its name derives from the nickname given to FN's previous Browning Patent pocket pistol the Browning Model 1906.

Thumbnail image of Centrefire self-loading pistol - FN Baby Browning Bright blue decorated in the Art Deco style.